The 3 Most Common Traits Of A Bad Leader

Cartoon businessman making mistakeMany helpful articles focus on what it takes to be a good leader. However, just as important as it is to strive to develop good qualities, it is just as vital to assess your current style and make sure you have no characteristics of a bad leader. Although there are no definitive qualities that all poor managers possess, the ones outlined below should provide some food for thought about possible areas of improvement.

Dissociation – Certain supervisors are completely dissociated from their staff, which is especially common for managers of large teams. In small offices, bosses usually have no choice but to interact with their subordinates because they likely share workspace with them, or need to interact with all of them to get daily work done.

However, those that manage twenty or more employees are usually not as close in proximity to all their staff.

A big mistake that leaders make is forgetting how important it is to maintain regular interaction with all staff members, which is vital to make all employees feel valued, noticed and heard.

Not Leading By Example – Some leaders take on the belief that once they get to the top, they simply have to give out instructions to others, but not work themselves.

This is the wrong mentality to have, as employees need to see their leader as an example of how to work hard.

When a boss simply gives out orders, yet clearly does not work as hard as he or she expects employees to, that sends the wrong message to staff.

Employees start to resent a leader who only talks about big expectations, but shows no drive or dedication to the success of the company.

No Compassion – While managers need to be work-driven and professional, they also need to remember that those working for them are people with personal lives, dreams and feelings.

Some leaders forget that their employees’ actually do have a life outside of the office, and don’t offer any flexibility or empathy for personal obligations.

Managers need to be more or less flexible to provide time off to promote a good work/life balance for employees, and show that they care about their feelings. Otherwise, staff members will not feel appreciated and may choose to look for employment elsewhere.

When reflecting on your managerial qualities, if you notice that you show dissociation from and no compassion to your staff, or don’t lead by example, it’s time to make a change.

Remember that employees want to feel appreciated, heard and noticed at work. A good leader takes the time to show subordinates what hard work looks like, and treats all workers as individuals.

Many thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 6 March, 2015

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